THE Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has agreed to a wage deal with Sibanye Gold, claiming victory for a modest increase on a deal the union says it largely negotiated six months ago.

Amcu announced on its website and on social media that its members had agreed on Sunday to an increase of R25 over and above the cumulative annual increases agreed in October.

In a copy of a speech delivered to a mass meeting at Sibanye Gold’s Driefontein mine near Carletonville, west of Johannesburg, Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa claimed victory given that the company had restarted talks despite repeatedly maintaining it would not.

“Sibanye Gold management made an offer of R25 more on top of the previous wage agreement signed by NUM (the National Union of Mineworkers) and other unions, which was R675 for first year, R700 for second and R750 for the third (year).

“That money was negotiated by us and NUM was quick to sign for what they did not negotiate. It was Amcu who negotiated that offer.

“The new offer is R700 first year, R725 second year and R800 for the third year,” the union said.

Sibanye struck a deal in October with the NUM, Solidarity and the United Association of SA (Uasa) that amounted to increases of up to 12% for some categories of workers in the first year.

Amcu turned down that deal, reserving its option for a protected strike pending a Labour Court appeal that might have allowed it to strike at other producers where the three other unions represented a collective majority.

Amcu suspended the strike on Wednesday after talks with Sibanye management.

The NUM had dismissed the R25 increase on Thursday, accusing Amcu of being Sibanye’s “baby”.

The offer should have been tabled for consideration during collective bargaining, the NUM said.

It also accused Sibanye of failing to act after raids at the Driefontein and Kloof mines that discovered weapons including guns and pangas.

Solidarity on Friday welcomed the suspension of the strike, saying there was every indication that it would have been accompanied by violence.